Winning ways: 360i has grown dramatically since Belsky joined the agency five years ago. He’s collected a shelf full of awards both personally and on 360i’s behalf for the campaigns that stand behind $18 billion in e-commerce client revenue. Under Belsky’s leadership the company has focused its capabilities in programmatic buying, search, and social on helping clients to create cost-efficient real-time campaigns—which helps to explain how the firm now rakes in $700 million in annual billings.
Defining moment: “It’s clear now that joining 360i was a huge moment that changed my mind-set and brought me back to the late 1990s, when we believed that anything is possible.”
Words to live by: “My 90-year-old grandpa reminded me this weekend that character is everything. You need to hire for character and lead for character.”
Head swivel: “When Facebook changed its algorithm and dramatically lessened organic search, it was a clarion call, and very scary while it was happening. But it gave us a huge opportunity to organize around success and live up to our motto of bringing paid and earned media together, and we snatched opportunity from the jaws of chaos.”
Good advice: “Clients tend to trust those who speak simply, use real words, and don’t hide behind acronyms, so speak simply and fail fast.”
First job: “My first company was iballs in the late 1990s. That was our Woodstock. It gave me a pioneering spirit and the sense that everything was possible if you fight for it—and years later I still believe that experience was formative. More important, I met my wife there, who’s had the biggest influence of all.”
On your nightstand: “Trust is a fairly elusive concept but is at the core of what every agency should be working toward. The Trusted Advisor [by Maister, Green, and Galford] breaks down trust into simple components, and if you’re going to be a great agency rep, you have to spend your days thinking about trust and teaching it to the younger generation.”
Favorite mobile app: “I absolutely love Uber and our Wake up & Smell the Bacon app, but my real answer to this question is to get off the phone and get in front of your clients and employees, and remember who’s doing the hard work.”
Click or tap here to read the stories behind the successes of the other Direct Marketing News 2014 40 Under 40 winners.